March 23, 2015
The Connecticut Supreme Court has just unanimously ruled that individuals convicted of possessing less than one-half an ounce of marijuana are now entitled to petition the Superior Court to have that record of conviction erased. This Ruling of the Court follows the 2011 Act by the Legislature, which changed the penalty for possessing less than one-half an ounce of marijuana to a fine of $150 for the first offense. The Ruling follows Connecticut’s erasure statute, C.G.S. § 54-142d, which provides that whenever a person has been convicted of an offense in any court of this state and the offense has subsequently been decriminalized, the person may file a petition with the Superior Court for an Order of Erasure. In effect, this means that if an individual fits within the parameters of this new Supreme Court Ruling, the conviction itself is subject to erasure, and all police investigation materials, including fingerprint records and photographs, that may be with a local police department or the State of Connecticut, may be ordered destroyed or returned to the individual. This holding of the Supreme Court may enable those individuals convicted five, ten, fifteen or more years ago to have all of that information removed from the public record, a significant development in light of the current availability of conviction records on the Internet.
The members of Pullman & Comley’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice Group have experience in dealing with return and/or destruction of fingerprint and photographic records, and also the destruction of police investigative records, where charges have been dismissed against individuals.
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